Your Creative Calendar: 51 Things To Do, Watch, Hear, And Read This September

Have a look at Co.Create’s selective round-up of the best movies, albums, books, tours, and happenings coming your way this month.

Your Creative Calendar: 51 Things To Do, Watch, Hear, And Read This September
[Photo Illustration: Joel Arbaje for Fast Company]

Summer 2014 is officially dead. Nobody seems upset about that, because it was a weird one. For the first time in all of human history, there was no official Song of the Summer (stop trying to make “Fancy” happen). A movie featuring a talking raccoon made over half a billion dollars, and you loved it. Famous people poured ice buckets on stuff. As the empty calories of summer entertainment recede into the rearview, however, we welcome a far more nourishing batch of creativity. Fall is a time for Oscar bait, the return of TV, and an unwieldy number of must-listen albums dropping on the same Tuesday. In order to help cut through the clutter, Co.Create has prepared a guide to the most promising movies, shows, albums, tours, and other fun stuff coming your way in September. If you somehow manage to get bored with all these options available, well, you should be ashamed of yourself.


Movies In Theaters

  • Skeleton Twins, opens September 12. Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader are siblings. Not in real life, but in the movie. You’d sort of believe they were siblings in real life, though. In this dramedy, the pair come out of 10 years of estrangement to try and help fix each other’s messed up lives.
  • The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Them. James McAvoy and Jessica Chastain have a hard time reconciling the aftermath of a tragedy in this installment of director Ned Benson’s unusual film trilogy–Him, Her and Them–that tracks the dissolution of a relationship from his and her point of view. Him and Her screened at the Toronto Film Festival last year and will premiere in October. Them, a two-hour combination of the two films is in theaters September 12.
  • This Is Where I Leave You, opens September 19. Every actor you like from TV is in this movie (Tina Fey, Jason Bateman, Adam Driver, Ben Schwartz.) The book read like Arrested Development mixed with The Corrections, so let’s hope that translates to the movie.
  • The Zero Theorem, opens September 19. Terry Gilliam directs. Christoph Waltz stars. We are there.
  • Tusk, opens September 19. Kevin Smith ventures further out of his Jay-and-Silent-Bob pocket than ever with this horror movie about a podcaster who gets turned into a Walrus.
  • The Boxtrolls, opens September 26. The team behind Paranorman and Coraline return with another crowd-pleasing stop motion feast for the eyes.
  • Jimi: All Is By My Side, Outkast’s Andre 3000 IS Jimi Hendrix.

Movies To Watch At Home

  • They Came Together, out September 2. Wet Hot American Summer director David Wain re-teams with his cowriter Michael Showalter in this spoof of romantic comedies, starring Amy Poehler and Paul Rudd.
  • Night Moves, out September 2. An organic farmer played by Jesse Eisenberg, a high society dropout played by Dakota Fanning, and an ex-Marine played by Peter Sarsgaard deal with the heavy consequences of their own actions.
  • God Help The Girl, out September 5. Belle and Sebastian singer/songwriter Stuart Murdoch’s latest musical film project is on Vimeo on Demand for your home-swaying pleasure.
  • God’s Pocket, out September 9. In one of Philip Seymour Hoffman’s final performances, a man’s problems quickly start multiplying after his crazy stepson is killed at a construction site.
  • Willow Creek, out September 9. Bobcat Goldthwait directs a found footage bigfoot movie.
  • Chef, out September 30. Director Jon Favreau’s return to the small scale of his earlier films is mirrored by its plot, in which a chef decides to open a food truck. Dustin Hoffman, John Leguizamo, and Sofía Vergara star, along with Favreau himself.

Albums You Should Hear

  • Ryan Adams–Ryan Adams, out September 9. It’s the once-prolific troubadour’s first album in years.
  • Banks–Goddess, out September 9. The debut album from a buzzed-about, edgy R&B chanteuse.
  • Interpol–El Pintor, out September 9. Supposedly, a return to form after losing bassist Carlos D and putting out a mostly forgotten fourth album.
  • Death From Above 1979–The Physical World, out September 9. The reunited thrash duo is fresh off the festival circuit with a batch of new songs, on their long-awaited second album ever.
  • Karen O–Crush Songs, out September 9. The best-known member of Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Oscar-nominated Spike Jonze collaborator offers a set of highly anticipated solo songs. Recorded in 2006 and 2007, the album is a collection of “lo-fi bedroom songs” in the style of “The Moon Song,” O’s track in Jonze’s film, Her.
  • The Juan Maclean–In a Dream, out September 16. LCD Soundsystem associates keep it moving on their third album.
  • Alt-J–This Is All Yours, out September 22. The genre-fluid, inimitable twang-weirdos can’t re-make their first impression, so it will be interesting to see what they do instead.
  • Aphex Twin–Syro, out September 23. After a 13-year absence, the ambient king has a new album to go with that brilliant cover art.
  • Prince–Art Official Age and Plectrumelectrum, both out September 30. Two new Prince albums on the same day? We are doubly blessed!
  • Lucinda Williams–Down Where the Spirit Meets the Bone, out September 30. The alt-country queen has your new soundtrack for dealing with a breakup.
Broadwalk Empire Season 5Photo: courtesy of HBO

Shows To Watch On TV (Or Your Computer)

  • Boardwalk Empire, September 7 on HBO. It’s the final season, so you know some gangsters are going to die!
  • Sons of Anarchy, September 9 on FX. It’s the final season, so you know some bikers are going to die!
  • Z Nation, September 12 on Syfy. Oh, you thought one zombie show was enough? You were wrong! So wrong! From Eerie, Indiana creator Karl Schaefer and the people who brought you Sharknado, so while the show is a drama that revolves around a group of survivors and their quest for a cure for a zombie virus three years post-apocalypse, it’s likely to be a bit more smirky than that other one.
  • Brooklyn Nine-Nine, September 28 on Fox. The Golden Globe-winning show returns, and if it makes anywhere near the leap creator Mike Schur’s last show Parks and Recreation made between its first and sophomore seasons, it might be the funniest thing on TV.
  • How to Get Away With Murder, September 25 on ABC. Scandal and Grey’s Anatomy creator Shonda Rhimes’ new show stars Oscar-winner Viola Davis as a law professor entangled in a murder plot. It might not give us exactly what it promises with that title, because that would be illegal, but perhaps it will come close.
  • Black-ish, September 24 on ABC. Laurence Fishburne is on a sitcom. Now you’ve seen everything. Anthony Anderson also stars as a paterfamilias struggling to maintain some semblance of cultural identity among his affluent African-American family. Expect the show to deal more with what creator Kenya Barris has described as issues of assimilation and class than tackle hefty race themes, but the trailers look funny and any new show not about a group of wise-cracking 30-ish white people will be a welcome addition to prime time.
  • Gotham , September 22 on Fox. It’s Batman before Batman was Batman.
  • Transparent Jill Soloway’s latest garnered raves when it first appeared as an Amazon pilot early this year. The show, about a family whose father (Jeffrey Tambor, starring alongside Gaby Hoffman, Jay Duplass and Amy Landecker) is transitioning to life as a woman, was picked up as a series and will debut September 26. While critics point out that Tambor is not, in fact, transgender, Soloway (Six Feet Under, United States of Tara, 2013 film Afternoon Delight), created a trans-positive production for the show–according to the New York Times, 20 cast and crew and 60 extras are transgender–and sought a range of non-TV creators for the writing room.

Comedians On Tour:

  • Amy Schumer, dates and locations here. The bawdy sketch comedian and future movie star is out on the road again, already. Where is she finding all this time?
  • Aziz Ansari, dates and locations here. The Parks and Rec star keeps getting more popular as a stand-up, even as his style matures into further post-collegiate issues.
  • Oddball Comedy Festival, dates and locations here. Louis CK, Sarah Silverman, and Jim Gaffigan lead an event that aims to be your traveling comedy Coachella.
  • Bill Cosby, dates and locations here. The Cos continues his comeback tour.
  • Steven Wright, dates and locations here. The witty one-liner warrior returns.
llustration for “Let’s Take a Trip Up the Nile” in This Week Magazine, November 5, 1950 — Gouache and graphite on illustration board© Mac Conner, Courtesy of the artist

Other Places to Go:

  • DJ Shadow and Cut Chemist, dates and locations here. The Renegades of Rhythm tour finds the vinyl wizards in familiar territory (mixing records you’ve never heard of in fun combinations.)
  • Maker Faire. This creativity extravaganza has a few different dates and locations, including the World Maker Faire in New York City.
  • Toronto International Film Festival. If you can find airfare and lodging in Toronto from September 5-15, you’ll be able to see high-prestige movies like Foxcatcher, Rosewater, Wild, and While We’re Young before nearly everyone else.
  • Milk Bar SoHo will be opening inside of Band of Outsiders store, in case you are a New Yorker who wants to shop and snack at the same time.
  • For Mad Men fans who can’t wait for the show to return in 2015, and for fans of mid-century design and advertising in general: An exhibit of advertising legend Mac Conner’s illustrations opens at the Museum of the City of New York on September 10.

Books To Read

  • David Mitchell–The Bone Clocks, on September 2. The latest doorstop by the author of Cloud Atlas.
  • Lena Dunham–Not That Kind Of Girl, on September 30. The brains behind, and star of, HBO’s Girls has written her first work of nonfiction.
  • Ian McEwan–The Children Act, on September 9. The latest from the prolific Atonement author.
  • Margaret AtwoodStone Mattress: Nine Stories, on September 16. A collection of short stories from one of the leading minds in dystopian fiction.
  • Greil Marcus–The History of Rock in 10 Songs, on September 2. This work by a leading authority on rock does what it says on the tin, but with a twist of sorts–Greil bypasses the obvious (no Rolling Stones or Beatles) and examines the sprawling, enduring cultural influence of ten diverse songs recorded between 1956 and 2008.
  • Hilary Mantel–The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher: Stories, on September 30. One of the bright lights in historical fiction releases a new collection of stories, after her second Booker Prize win.
  • James Ellroy–Perfidia, on September 9. The gritty, meticulous author revives some characters from his LA Quartet for his latest novel.
  • Caitlin Moran–How to Build a Girl, on September 23. Intriguingly, this follow-up to Moran’s breakthrough How to Be a Woman is a novel. What does it all mean?

Weird Holidays To Celebrate

  • National Felt Hat Day, September 15. Let your inner Peter Pan be your guide.
  • Talk Like a Pirate Day, September 19. Arrrrr-en’t you already sick of jokes like this? No? You’ll be perfect.
  • Museum Day, Free museums in participating locations? Go see all the art!

Did we miss anything that you’re totally stoked about? Enlighten us in the comments below.